The Phantom of the Opera is a story that most of us know through theater or television. A few know it from the novel by Gaston Leroux which was first published in a serialized form from 1909 to 1910. Though today it is considered a classic world-wide, the novel at first sold poorly and has been out of print several times. Some of Phantom’s fame is due to many successful stage and screen adaptations.
Unmasqued by Colette Gale is one of many adaptations that can be found and it follows the original idea of the story to an extent. However, this being an erotic retelling of a classic, the story does go places that your average reader might not expect. It opens with this wonderful dedication: ‘To all the women who thought Christine should have stayed with the Phantom’ and from the dedication page on you are pulled into a story that is vibrant and lush.
Christine Daae came to live in the Opera House as a girl, her father having died when she was young. Before his death she showed great promise as a singer but after his death she felt that her music had somehow passed with him. In the Opera House she is quiet and shy, but most of all terribly lonely. She blossoms when the Opera Ghost, her Angel of Music, takes an interest in her voice and begins to tutor her in music and voice.
Of course we know this right away to be Erik, the Phantom of the Opera. Dark, mysterious, demanding, not to mention exciting, Christine falls for him despite what lies behind the mask. Although he can not believe it at first, soon a real bond, true love, has grown between them.
After a brilliant performance on the stage and an indiscreet meeting with Raoul, a childhood friend turned admirer, Christine is taken to the Phantom’s home deep beneath the Opera House. She is gone for seven days and in that time Erik and Christine come to truly know and understand each other. But then an unthinkable and unforgivable act of Christine’s wrenches them apart.